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2008 Episode 5: Toki Does New York

Toki, a 3D bunny-girl is the sexually complex subject of beautiful and disturbing video art. Her creator, Hye Rim Lee is not yet a household name in New Zealand, but she should be.

Hye Rim is intent on being the next Jeff Koons and is arguably one of New Zealand's most successful artists. Already represented by the most important gallery in Asia, Kukjegallery, this year she's taken on the West. In 2008 Hye Rim's works have exhibited in Berlin, Wellington, Auckland, Shanghai, Seoul, Sydney, Spain and New York City.

Toki Does New York partners the bubbly, vivacious and driven Hye Rim and her uber-sexy creation Toki as they open a 'make or break' solo-show at the Max Lang gallery in New York's art capital, Chelsea. And to add to the pressure Hye Rim transforms herself into Toki for a live performance with underground musician Jed Town.

Art is not just about making works that look good. Hye Rim shows us how pivotal networking, being in the right place at the right time and hard work is to her success. She is a New Zealander making New Zealand work, but with a very international approach and currency.

Toki Does New York gives the audience an exclusive inside view of the New York art scene, and through Hye Rim, we learn what it takes to make it in one of the toughest art cities of the world. 

Director Dan Salmon says: "I have never met anyone who works such crazy hours. I think Hye Rim succeeds partly because she comes from a background of success - her father was a famous Korean theatre director, her mother was an opera singer, but also because she is fully committed to her artistic vision and ambition. In every aspect of her work she is a perfectionist, but she doesn't stop there, she is a work of art herself."

Toki Does New York is directed Dan Salmon and produced by Octopus Pictures. The film has been cut by the award-winning editor Tim Woodhouse, and shot by commercials DOP Ben Freedman with an original soundtrack composed and performed by Jed Town.